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Arizona students win slots at U.S. Odyssey contest

ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.06.2008

Several Southern Arizona teams will move on to the world finals of Odyssey of the Mind after wins in the State Tournament held Saturday at Ironwood Ridge High School.

For example, all four of Magee Middle School's Odyssey of the Mind teams will go the world finals this year -- Magee's fifth winning year in a row, said school coach Marjorie Letson.

"We screamed, and I cried when I found out we were going (to world finals)," said Kaylyn Humphrey, a Magee eighth-grader.

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem-solving competition for students from grade K- 12.

Teams choose one of five long-term problems and work to come up with creative, out-of-the-box solutions, said tournament director Gary Wagnon.

"We had a very good solution. We thought up a lot of random solutions and then worked really hard on it," said Edie Pantoja, a Magee seventh-grader.

The students are also judged in a spontaneous competition in which they are given a problem and have 3-8 minutes to develop the most creative solution possible, Wagnon said.

All teams that placed either first or second will be advancing on to the world finals on May 31 at the University of Maryland. There, they will be competing against teams from across the United States and from more than 20 foreign countries.



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